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Neurodiversity-Affirming Research and Practice SIG Steering Committee

Steering Committee

The SIG uses a Steering Committee structure. Each Steering Committee member is responsible for undertaking tasks related to their pillar. Below are Steering Committee members’ bios. Some Steering Committee members are open to receiving emails from ACBS members, whether it's support for their work, guidance around how the SIG can better accommodate you/other members, or an offer to assist with ongoing activities. ACBS members are welcome to email Steering Committee members with listed email addresses about the SIG.

SIG Coordinator: Dr. Alison Stapleton (she/her)



Advocacy and System-Level Pillar

Dr. Courtney Pflieger (she/her; term ending March 2027)

Courtney Pflieger photo

I'm a US-based Licensed Psychologist and Nationally Certified School Psychologist who also has late-diagnosed ADHD. I work in a private therapy practice and I also supervise graduate students at my local University. My primary focuses are assessment and therapy for neurodivergent clients and I work with ages 9 and up, with most of my current clients being young adults. My professional life is all about making evidence-based treatments more accessible and affirming for people with developmental differences. My personal life is all about mountains, family, reading, and a border collie.



Lic. Valeria Pschepiurka (she/her; term ending March 2027)

Valeria Pschepiurka photo

Valeria is a clinical psychologist with a late neurodivergence diagnosis, bringing nearly 20 years of experience working with clients in Argentina. For several years, she has dedicated her practice to couples therapy, utilizing evidence-based therapies. Valeria is certified as a neurodiverse couples therapist and is strongly committed to neurodiversity-affirming practices.



Ms. Xenia Angevin (she/her; term ending March 2027)

Xenia Angevin photo

Xenia Angevin, MBA, is a Coaching Psychologist who advocates for an expansive definition of coaching psychology as a “contextual scientific study of supporting personal self-determination & capacity for meaningful membership in groups and organisations”.

Xenia is in the process of pursuing masters-level education in neurodevelopment, ADHD and autism. A proponent of the process-oriented paradigm and contextual behavioural science, Xenia is a Principal consulting psychologist at Shimmer, directing a coaching portfolio for adults with ADHD, Autism and other neurodevelopmental presentations.

In the past 20 years, Xenia has focused on the professional application of non-directive approaches including coaching, mentoring, mediation, supervision, facilitation, organisational development, and policy work in support of these. In L&D, Xenia’s interests are in diversity and inclusion at a team level. Xenia promotes a dialogue within the Helping and People professions and across the scientific domains; and believes in embedding evidence-based practice and research as key capabilities in these professions.



Community Engagement Pillar

Dr. Naomi Malone (she/her; term ending March 2027)

Naomi Malone Photo

As a counselling psychologist, working for over 20 years in rural Australia has provided me the privilege of a diverse range of clinical experience, and a deep understanding of resilience in the face of isolation and adversity. My therapeutic approach is founded in ACT, and is passionately neurodiversity-affirming, client-centered, trauma-informed care, also drawing from IFS,  family therapy, EMDR, and narrative therapy. I strongly believe in the power of the therapeutic relationship, in which those who share the space with me can feel seen, understood and accepted as their true authentic selves. As a late-identified Autistic/ADHDer, I also have a deep understanding of redefining identity as an experienced and passionate clinician. I am now honored to be focussed on supporting and mentoring other clinicians in NDA, trauma-informed care, both those who are neurodivergent themselves, as well as those who are allies to the ND community. My particular passion is for assisting early career ND clinicians, as well as experienced clinicians and professionals who themselves have experienced or are experiencing the journey of late autistic/ADHD identification.



Ms. Sandi James (she/her; term ending March 2026)

Sandi James Photo

Sandi James is a registered Psychologist with more than 15 years working in mental health, eating disorder, and addiction treatment. She is a lived experience clinician and dedicates her career to working with clients who feel let down by current systems of care and treatment approaches. Her primary focus includes mental health and trauma recovery, with a particular focus on co-occurring presentations including substance use or food and compulsive exercise-related difficulties. Sandi has extensive experience working with individuals and families to heal and recover from trauma, addictions, eating disorders, and mental health conditions. She is dedicated to working with clients and families from an inclusive and person-centered approach to improving quality of life from a harm reduction perspective. She is a passionate and committed clinician, working alongside and guiding clients in the recovery process. Sandi is building a practice integrating joyful movement and somatic healing approaches to treatment as well as working towards her PhD conducting qualitative research looking at experiences of eating disorder treatment: identifying, responding to, and addressing harm experienced throughout the treatment process.



Dr. Sarah Cassidy (she/her; term ending March 2025)

Sarah Cassidy Photo

I am an Educational, Child & Adolescent Psychologist, a Peer-Reviewed ACT Trainer, Founder and Director of Smithsfield Clinic, and Co-Founder and Co-Director of New England Centre for OCD & Anxiety, Ireland Branch.  I have also co-founded a university-based campus company conducting cutting-edge RFT ed-tech research using SMART training which I designed during my PhD. I am a Chartered Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland, and a serving Council Member of PSI.  I’m in the working group for the development of best practice guidelines for assessment of Autism.  Member of the Division of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologists (APA). In ACBS, I am on the Foundation Board, was formerly Chairperson of the Membership Committee, currently chair the Fellows Sub-committee, active SIG member. Involved in numerous national and international research projects.  Have published numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters, and most recently, two best-selling ACT children’s books.



Resource Development and Research Dissemination Pillar

Lic. Carolina Fernández Diaz (she/her; term ending March 2026)

Carolina Fernández Diaz Photo

Neurodivergent psychologist specializing in trauma and gender violence from second- and third-wave therapies including ACT, DBT, and mindfulness. Certified in EMDR. Further specializing in neuropsychological evaluation. Teacher. PhD student at Maimonides University. Researcher in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Director of Cepyen Member of ACBS. Secretary of the Argentine Chapter of the ACBS.



Ms. Kirsty Robinson (she/her; term ending March 2025)

Kirsty is a Child and Family Psychologist trained and practicing in Otautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. Late-diagnosed as an ADHD'er she has both a personal and professional interest in neuro-affirming research and practice. Drawing primarily on ACT, alongside positive psychology, interpersonal neurobiology, and a bioecological framework, she is a passionate advocate for young ND people who sets out to support growth and development at the individual level as well as within the systems and institutions young people inhabit. Kirsty feels most alive when she can act with humor, creativity, curiosity, compassion, zen-like wisdom, and perspective to create small ripples of positive and neuro-affirming change.


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